Pat yourselves on the back, rose lovers — we’ve made it through hometown dates! Eight weeks and countless showers later, Colton is down to his final three women. If anyone else out there is worried about what Team Bachelor will have to tease after the fence jump finally airs next week, please know you are not alone.
Until then, let’s talk through these hometown dates, shall we?
Date No. 1: Caelynn
Location: Fredericksburg, Va.
Family members present: At least 16 people, including Caelynn’s stepfather John, her apparently nameless mother, and her lookalike sister Ariana.
“We’re going to have a great day!” gushes Caelynn. She and Colton ride through the streets of Fredericksburg in a horse-drawn carriage, with Reality Steve’s phone-wielding spies hot on their trail.
After a quick ice cream break, Caelynn and Colton arrive on her family’s doorstep. Though Caelynn says her biological father is “not part of my life at all,” the man who raised her — her stepfather John — is bringing plenty of protective papa energy to this family gathering. “I’m going to do everything that I can to make sure that they are not making any hasty decisions,” he says. (Dude, you’re about two months too late!) Her sister Ariana wastes no time telling Caelynn that she’s “skeptical” that Colton is “sincere” — but I am absolutely being sincere when I say that I literally yelled “Dayum!” at Ariana’s ample décolletage.
Sorry. Anyhow, Caelynn’s mom is very honest with the Bachelor about her concerns. “It’s hard to wrap my head around it,” she says. “This could end in an engagement… It’s scary to know that that could be my daughter. So, I don’t know if you’re ready. I don’t know if Caelynn’s ready.” It’s also kind of adorable how John tries to convince Caelynn to just be friends with Colton instead. “What’s the difference?” he asks. He seems like a really sweet man, and when Caelynn thanks him for being such a good father to her, it was eye-leakage city at my house.
The Traditional Asking of the Blessing™ is, as always, awkward but ultimately successful. When Colton first asks, John pauses for seven long seconds before posing a question to him: “Are you ready, truly, to get married?” The Bachelor’s all, “Yup!” and promises John that it would be a “lifelong commitment.” Spoiler alert: It won’t. As we’ll discover later, this whole conversation — and Caelynn’s “I’m fully in love with you” declaration — will end up being moot.
Date No. 2: Hannah G.
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Family members present: Hannah’s mom Beth, her dad Tom, three cousins, and a best friend.
“We do things a little bit differently here in the South,” says Hannah G. before informing Colton that she’s about to make him sit through an “etiquette class.” The instructor is impressed with the Bachelor’s impeccable posture, but when it comes to putting butter on his dinner roll? Well, her expression says it all.
I agree with Colton, though — who has time to butter a roll piece by piece by piece? Even after the bread debacle, Emily Post gives the Bachelor a passing grade and says he and Hannah make “a beautiful couple.” We’ll be the judge of that, lady.
From the moment Hannah and Colton arrive at her family’s house, her mom Beth seems a little on edge. For one thing, she’s definitely not feeling Colton’s toast at dinner.
“First I was like, ‘Wait a minute — what are you saying to me, guy who I just met three minutes ago?’ I was taken aback,” says Beth. “She’s always been mine.” Hannah tries to assure her mother that what she and Colton have is real-ish: “He is somebody who I truly, truly see possibly working out at the end.” Huh? Ultimately, Hannah’s tearful insistence that she sees a future with Colton wins Beth over. “It really surprised me because she left here a mama’s girl,” says Beth, “and she came back a woman in love. It was scary but it was also something that I needed to embrace.”
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